l attack upon Joe Johnston in the Valley of Virginia.
With the defeat of Johnston the victorious army could march on Beauregard at Manassas, re-enforced by the troops around the Federal capital.
Soldiers of high reputation and great merit were ordered to report to Patterson.
Fitz John Porter was his adjutant general, Amos Beckwith commissary of subsistence, Crosman quartermaster, Sampson topographical engineer, Newton engineer; while such men as A. E. Burnside, George H. Thomas, Miles, Abercrombie, Cadwalader, Stone, and Negley commanded troops; and then, the laws being silent in the midst of arms, Senator John Sherman, of Ohio, was his aid-de-camp.
From Patterson's position two routes led to the Valley of Virginia, one via Frederick, Md., across the Potomac at Harper's Ferry, the other by Hagerstown, Md., crossing at Williamsport and thence to Martinsburg.
Patterson wisely selected the latter route, because it was a flank movement on his enemy at Harper's Ferry, who could prese